Oven-baked corned beef brisket is heavenly! The beef comes out tender and succulent. It falls apart and melts in your mouth and it makes the house smell amazing! This post has been updated from its first post in March 2015.
I never heard of boiling corned beef until I had it in college. I know a lot of people love it prepared that way (my husband for one), but the way they did it in the college cafeteria scarred me for life.
Growing up, my dad always seared it first on the stove, then he’d sprinkle on the package of seasoning that came with the meat, wrap it loosely in a tin foil packet and let it slowly braise in its own juices for hours.
The deep penetrating smell of the coriander, bay leaves, allspice would perfume the house. After braising the beef slowly for hours, it would come out tender and succulent. If you’ve never made corned beef this way, you are in for a treat!
Corned beef spices: bay leaf, coriander, cloves, allspice
The Cook-Off: Slow Cooker vs. Oven-Baked
I was out of town this past weekend, so my husband (Jerry) had our kids and grandkids over for a corned beef dinner. He’s always made it in the slow cooker and I’ve always made it in the oven. Both ways are incredibly easy and very tasty, BUT we’ve never put them to a side-by-side test.
This past weekend he did! Here’s our taste testing crew:
He made his slow cooker corned beef by placing it in the crockpot with 1 inch of water, a dash of liquid smoke, some chopped onions & the seasoning packet it came with. He turned it on low and cooked it for 6 hours. He made another one simultaneously with this recipe below. 👇🏼
Baked Corned Beef Recipe
Even though the baking is a long and slow process, there is very little active prep to do.
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Take the corned beef out of its package and sprinkle the top (fat cap side up) with the spice pack it came with.
- Loosely but completely wrap it in tin foil. Make sure the fatty side is up.
- Bake for 6 hours.
- Open the tin foil, turn the oven on high broil for 10-15 minutes.
- Set oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 30 min.
And the Winner is…
The baked corned beef won hands down! The corned beef baked in the oven was incredibly tender but still firm. Its flavor was more intense than the other and was super moist.
However, I have to tell you… they really liked the other one too. There were NO leftovers of anything!
Why broil corned beef?
This morning over our morning coffee, Jerry said he was surprised that the broiling step didn’t burn the freakin’ tar out of it. Why is this step important? You do it to melt off any remaining fat cap and caramelize the top of the meat. This creates more flavor.
Why bake it at 350 F for 30 minutes at the end?
Isn’t it already done after cooking for 6 hours??? Baking the corned beef after the fat cap has melted into the meat, transfers MORE flavor into the meat.
Is this a baking method or a braising method?
Technically the method I’ve outlined in this recipe is for a Braised corned beef. Baking uses dry heat in the oven. Braising uses a combination of dry and wet heat to cook food.
Since the meat is wrapped in foil, it cooks in its own juices (wet heat). Then at the end of the cooking cycle when it’s uncovered, the broiler and the last 30 minutes of uncovered baking introduces the dry heat.
What corned beef cut is best?
There are 2 cuts of corned beef: the flat cut and the point cut. If you are going to shred the meat for soup, sliders or egg rolls, go for the point cut.
If you are going to slice it for dinner or sandwiches opt for the flat cut. The flat cut is generally leaner with a nice fat cap that will add loads of moisture and flavor. Plus, a cut of meat that is more uniform will cook evenly.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a brisket cut of beef. That means it’s cut from the chest of the steer just above the legs. It’s a muscle that does a lot of work so it’s incredibly tough and needs to be cooked a long time and at low temperatures to get it to the point where it just melts in your mouth.
Letting it braise like this in its own juices is so good you’ll want to make it like this all year round. We sure do!
It’s always a good idea to make extra too. The meat shrinks quite a bit and you’ll want leftovers for sandwiches the next day. It makes a killer Ruben on rye!
As the beef cooks slowly, it gives off lots of fragrant juices. After it’s done, strain off this liquid and use it to boil your cabbage.
What to Serve Next to Your Oven-Braised Corned Beef
Dish it up with a side of honey glazed carrots, steamed new potatoes, and cabbage and you’ve got a steaming plate fit for an Irish feast.
Once you try corned beef slowly braised like this in the oven, you’ll be hard pressed to put it in a pot of boiling water ever again.
Baked Corned Beef Brisket
- Corned beef 2 lbs
- Spice packet
- baking sheet
- tin foil
Preheat oven to 275ºF.
Sprinkle spice packet over corned beef and loosely wrap in tin foil.
Place on baking sheet and bake on a lower level for 6 hours.
Open foil and turn oven to broil and allow fat to cook off, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Turn oven to 350ºF and cook for another 30 min.